United States Sweeps Singles Gold Medals at 2017 World Bowling Senior Championships

by Matt Cannizzaro, USBC Communications 0

ARLINGTON, Texas – United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer Lynda Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, had a memorable debut on the senior scene, claiming the women’s singles gold medal Wednesday at the 2017 World Bowling Senior Championships.

Barnes shared the top spot on the medal stand with Ron Mohr of North Las Vegas, Nevada, who completed the sweep for the United States at Dream-Bowl Palace near Munich by earning the men’s title for his fourth overall gold medal in three trips to the World Senior Championships.

The win was bittersweet for Barnes, who delivered a double in her final frame to defeat teammate and fellow USBC Hall of Famer Leanne Hulsenberg of Pleasant View, Utah, in the final, 214-204. Mohr downed Canada’s Joe Ciach in the men’s final, 202-180. Hulsenberg and Ciach each earned silver medals.

“Today was unreal, unbelievable and a great start to the week, and I can’t wait to get back out there to bowl alongside teammates I really respect,” Barnes said. “I’m also a little overwhelmed. I didn’t think I was going to squeak into the top four, and when I did, it was just about going out and having some fun. When Leanne and I were bowling in the finals, it really was a win-win because it was going to be 1-2 no matter what, and the main goal is for our country to win as many medals as possible.”

Hulsenberg led by 32 pins after seven frames, but as Barnes started to gain momentum with strikes in the eighth and ninth frames, Hulsenberg was derailed by a 7-10 split in her ninth frame.

Had Hulsenberg thrown three strikes in her final frame, it would’ve forced Barnes to do the same to secure a tie and force a roll-off. Hulsenberg delivered the first strike but left the 6-7-10 combination on her second offering, giving Barnes a chance to win the match.

“To try and step up and find a way, with the idea I had a chance at something I didn’t ever think I’d have a chance at, I was lucky enough to shake it off my hand going in the right direction,” said Barnes, who won a pair of gold medals at the World Youth Championships in 1990 but did not earn a gold medal in four appearances at the adult version of the World Championships. “I’m super ecstatic, and the messages I got from so many family members and friends brought tears to my eyes. It’s overwhelming, and you definitely never do any of this alone when you have such great supporters and teammates.”

In the women’s semifinals, Barnes defeated Finland’s Reija Lunden, 193-185, and top-seeded Hulsenberg earned her spot in the title match with a 175-157 win against Russia’s Larisa Stashchenko. Lunden and Stashchenko each received bronze medals.

Mohr has represented the United States in all three editions of the World Senior Championships, held every other year since 2013. His previous gold medals came in doubles and all-events in 2013 and team in 2015.

In Wednesday’s win over Ciach, Mohr started the finale with three strikes in his first four frames to build an early lead and doubled in his final frame to shut out Ciach.

“This was by far the strongest field I’ve seen at this event, and I feel this gold medal was much more difficult to win than the others,” Mohr said.

Mohr qualified third for Wednesday’s medal round and snuck past teammate Lennie Boresch Jr. of Kenosha, Wisconsin, also a member of the USBC Hall of Fame, after the two tied in the semifinals at 217.

The tie resulted in a pair of one-ball roll-offs to decide who would advance to the championship match. Both players left 10 pins on their first attempts, and Mohr advanced with a strike on his second shot. Boresch left a 4 pin and settled for a bronze medal.

In the other semifinal, Ciach defeated top seed Parker Bohn III of Jackson, New Jersey, 221-191.

Competition at Dream-Bowl Palace immediately shifted to doubles, with the first of two men’s qualifying squads taking place Wednesday afternoon. Bohn (1,226) and Bob Learn Jr. of Erie, Pennsylvania (1,293), set the bar with a 2,519 six-game total.

The other half of the men’s field, along with two squads of women’s doubles teams, will take the lanes Thursday for their six-game qualifying rounds. The top four teams in each division, based on six-game pinfall totals, will advance to Friday’s doubles medal round.

The 2017 World Senior Championships also will include medal opportunities in team, all-events and Masters competition.

For more information on the World Bowling Senior Championships, visit WorldBowling.org

2017 WORLD BOWLING SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Dream-Bowl Palace, Unterfohring, Germany
Wednesday’s Results

WOMEN’S SINGLES

CHAMPIONSHIP
(Winner earns gold, loser gets silver)

Lynda Barnes, United States, def. Leanne Hulsenberg, United States, 214-204

SEMIFINALS
(Winners advance, losers tie for bronze)

Barnes def. Reija Lunden, Finland, 193-185
Hulsenberg def. Larisa Stashchenko, Russia, 175-157

MEN’S SINGLES

CHAMPIONSHIP
(Winner earns gold, loser gets silver)

Ron Mohr, United States def. Joe Ciach, Canada, 202-180

SEMIFINALS
(Winners advance, losers tie for bronze)

Mohr def. Lennie Boresch Jr., United States, 217-217 (9-9, 10-9)
Ciach def. Parker Bohn III, United States, 221-191